War of Words: Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg Spar on Importance of AI

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Nothing gets a geek's dander up than a discussion of whether a Skynet-like AI will become part of our future, as seen in the beef apparently brewing between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.

The two billionaires have opposing views with regards to artificial intelligence. While Musk is known for issuing warnings regarding the dangers of artificial intelligence, Facebook's CEO has expressed optimism on how AI can improve people's lives. A mindset that Tesla's chief thinks is a pretty “limited” understanding of the topic.

The word war apparently started after Zuckerberg conducted a Facebook Live session. As he relaxed at home and manned the grill, the tech icon answered various question, including one about AI.

According to Zuckerberg, people who keep trying to drum up fear of AI are “really negative” and “pretty irresponsible.” He emphasized that any technology, including AI, can be used for either good or bad and that it's up to designers and developers to be careful of what they create.

Zuckerberg added that he has a hard time understanding those who are against the development and evolution of AI technology, saying that these people are “arguing against safer cars that aren't going to have accidents” and “against being able to better diagnose people when they're sick.”

It's safe to assume that Tesla's boss was among those people Zuckerberg is talking about. Musk met a group of US governors earlier this month and proposed that regulations on artificial intelligence should be enacted.

Musk explained that AI technology posed a huge risk to society, hinting at a future similar to what the Terminator movies have implied.

“I keep sounding the alarm bell, but until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react, because it seems so ethereal,” Musk said then.

Upon hearing Zuckerberg's comments on AI, Musk hit back on Twitter, saying that he has talked to his contemporary about this. He also said that Zuckerberg's “understanding of the subject is limited.”

However, Zuckerberg is sticking to his guns as he once more defended his views on AI in a recent Facebook post. He reiterated his optimism about AI and the technology's potential to improve the world.

[Featured image via YouTube]
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